State Pension planning has been in existence for more than a century and the New State Pension starts in April 2016. After several attempts over more than 40 years to create an additional, salary related top up pension for all Governments have recently, since 2008 agreed that a funded scheme implemented by employers should become a compulsory vehicle for achieving this rather than another attempt to make a further promise based on national insurance contributions.

As a result, since 2012, employers have been setting up pension schemes under the new rules and this will continue through till 2018 from when all newly formed businesses with employees will have to start a qualifying scheme.

At various dates from October 2012 onwards every employer has to adhere to rules governing the provision of pension plans for employees and to implement these at least by dates prescribed by The Pensions Regulator. This date for each employer is called the Staging Date.

Every pre April 2012 employer should have already have received a letter asking for the Nominated Person to be notified to them. In addition this letter identifies the date at which a qualifying pension scheme must be set up. These requirements must be met before or at the date set by the regulator, without exception, even if the result is to notify them that nothing needs to be done and this is the least likely outcome.

There are options to pay reduced contributions in the early years of set up to make implementation more affordable for both employers and employees.

Advice for choosing the best provider for you, communicating the options to your employees both face to face and by written letters and or emails and then providing systems for keeping all relevant records for the minimum statutory period, is all part of the service that we as advisors will help you to achieve with and from the selected provider.

Whether you already have a scheme in place, or are due to set up a scheme in the next 3 years, doing nothing is NOT an option. Failure to comply with the regulations is potentially a criminal offence and a possibly very expensive luxury given the standing fine criteria that the Regulator has set in place.